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Journal of Business & Retail Management Research
Vol-12, Issue 4, July 2018
ISSN 1751-8202 (Print) ISSN 2056-6271 (Online)

Strategic decision-making process (SDMP) in times of crisis: Evidence from Greek banks
Eleni Aravopoulou School of Management and Social Sciences, St Mary’s University, UK Mohamed Branine Dundee Business School, Abertay University, UK Merlin Stone School of Management and Social Sciences, St Mary’s University, UK Fotios V. Mitsakis Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent University, UK Geoff Paul School of Management and Social Sciences, St Mary’s University, UK


Strategic decision-making process (SDMP), Rationality, Intuition, Political behaviour, Organisational change, Acquisitions


        This paper investigates the strategic decision-making process (SDMP) of Greek banks’ top management in the context of profound organisational changes introduced in 2012 as a result of the 2008 global financial crisis. It focuses on the impact of three key dimensions of the SDMP, namely, rationality, intuition and political behaviour, relating to four changes introduced, namely, acquisitions, branch network rationalisation, integration of information technology (IT) and downsizing of operations and personnel. A questionnaire-based survey was conducted, targeting Greek banks’ top management. Out of 140 questionnaires, 78 were returned, a 55.71% response rate. Data was analysed using structural equation modelling. Research findings identify rationality as a key dimension of SDMP for all organisational changes, as there was high focus on identifying and analysing all required information, use of external financial advisors, and reliance on multiple methods of information gathering. Decision-makers used their intuition in the form of past experience when making acquisition decisions, whilst their personal judgment and “inner voice” were neglected.

        Finally, political behaviour was not displayed during this process, as decision-makers were open with each other about their interests and preferences, and there was no bargaining, negotiation or use of power amongst them. One limitation was that of not considering all the factors that might help measure SDMP characteristics. Also, this study was conducted in a period of political and financial uncertainty for Greek banks, as well as for the Greek economy in general, so findings may not be generalizable to other industries and countries. Conducting interviews could have offered deeper insight as well. This study’s value lies in the fact that the organisational changes were determined by Greece’s leaders, and thus the Greek banks had to operate under a dynamic, inflexible and non-autonomous environment. Also, this study extends prior SDMP research by examining the impact of the three key SDMP dimensions on four types of organisational change.



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